Hey there.

This is Brian.

I run a business that’s kind of like an enterprise and a mission rolled into one.

The enterprise part is an aquarium store and the mission part is a drive to keep the lakes of Florida free of invasive and harmful organic matter.

They dovetail in that the aquarium business is all about fresh water and clean tanks and creating beautiful and hospitable homes for fish and frogs and fresh-water creatures, and this exactly matches the mission part, which is to restore polluted/invaded lakes and streams to be beautiful and hospitable homes for fish and frogs and freshwater creatures.

Thus also the domain name—which seemed perfect: freefrog.net.

And this blog is about both the business and the mission. And possibly whatever random subjects also come up.

I grew up in north Florida, pretty much out in the sticks. I spent hours on the lakes that were nearby, and the rivers and streams. They were all clear of weeds and invasive plants, and I would swim in them and kayak or canoe around their edges. I didn’t even realize how good I had it until a couple of decades later, when I became aware of how plants were starting to fill in the lakes.

I started asking about it and learned that there were several species of invasive aquatic plants, and that some had been around since the 1800s, and that they were choking a lot of the lakes and ponds in Florida.

I also discovered that there was a core group of people that were trying to raise awareness about the problem of invasive aquatic plant life. They were actively trying to get state funding for clearing out select targeted lakes.

They had been successful with one campaign—to clear out Lake Toho in Osceola County. They had gotten enough funding to bring in barges and backhoe-type equipment to start from one side of one end and work across to the other side of the same end and get rid of the hydrilla and the water hyacinth—two common invasive aquatic plant species.

It had actually taken several weeks of daily work, and it had resulted in countless bargefuls of plants that had been extracted from the water and were being hauled away.

It made a big difference in how the lake looked. What had looked before like a carpet of green across the water was now just clear water with sunlight glinting off it.

So this activist group was continuing to bring the same effort and attention to other lakes in central Florida. I read quite a bit about what they were doing on their own blog.

I didn’t really want to invent the wheel by starting a separate lake preservation group, but I ended up doing that anyway (starting a group) because some of their guidelines and core principles seemed kind of whacked, and I didn’t really want to be associated with the psycho segment of their group.

So anyway, I started my own, and this blog is about that, and about my aquarium business.

Thanks for stopping by!

Brian